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Opting for healthier options during National Curry Week

Posted on the 12th October 2016

With National Curry Week underway (10 to 16 October), dietitians at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust are calling on people with diabetes or at risk of developing the condition to eat healthy.

Curry is a national favourite with over 9,000 restaurants in the UK serving curries and millions of Britons who enjoy the dish. It is, therefore, little wonder that National Curry Week has been annually marked in the UK for the past 19 years.

Christine Elwell, Specialist Diabetes Dietitian and Diabetes Education Coordinator at Lancashire Care, said: “There’s a British infatuation with curry and quite rightly so. Everyone loves a curry but it’s not always as healthy as it could be. People make curries at home, eat them at takeaways and restaurants, and also buy readymade from supermarkets. While our nation enjoys the taste and aroma of curries, it’s crucial people realise that healthier versions of curries can be just as tasty and delicious. This is particularly important for people with diabetes or at risk of developing the condition.

“When it comes to Indian food, people can make healthier choices. Try to limit anything that is creamy or deep-fried, for instance. Though munching into a poppadum or an onion bhaji can be irresistible, it’s healthier to avoid fried foods. You can also reduce the amount of fat in meals by choosing dishes with tomato-based sauces such as tandoori and madras, swop to plain rice or chapatti and have dishes to share. There are also a variety of vegetable and lentil dishes that are healthy.

“Learn how to cook homemade curries using less fats and oils, and add more vegetables and pulses for a cheaper option such as chickpeas and lentils. If you buy readymade curry from the supermarket use the food label and traffic light information to make a healthier choice. More information about making curry and Asian food healthier can be found on the Diabetes UK website.”

People with diabetes can learn more about the condition and how to live with it through help from DESMOND. Attending a DESMOND session will help someone to understand how food, activity and medication affect their diabetes control, what the long term risks of living with Type 2 diabetes are and how an individual might reduce these risks. You can self-refer or be referred in by health professionals. The idea is to empower people to self-manage their diabetes, improve glycaemic control, and reduce blood pressure, weight and waist circumference. DESMOND is available in English, Gujarati and Urdu.

To find out more, contact the DESMOND office on 01772 777620 or email desmond@lancashirecare.nhs.uk. Alternatively, speak to your GP, practice nurse or health care professional. For general advice on any form of diabetes, call the Diabetes UK Helpline on 0345 123 2399 or visit www.diabetes.org.uk